Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

PROVIDENCE, RI-One of New England’s most famous commercial addresses has been sold, as High Rock Westminster Street LLC pays $33 million for the Bank of America Tower at 111 Westminster St. The 26-story art deco structure is known as the “Superman” building because of its similarity to the Daily Planet tower used as a backdrop in that action hero’s 1950′s television series.

“It’s an unbelievable property,” says NAI Hunneman Commercial Co. VP Jonathan Aron, who joined Hunneman EVP Robert Tito in brokering the off-market transaction between High Rock and the seller, Inland Real Estate Exchange. Besides being an “absolute net-leased” asset thanks to the full-building commitment by Bank of America that runs for another six years, Aron says 111 Westminster St. should benefit from Providence’s continued growth and its prominence as the tallest building in Rhode Island at 458 feet tall. Constructed in 1927, the 350,000-sf building previously served as the corporate headquarters of the Fleet Bank Corp., which was bought out by Bank of America.

Aron credits his client and the buyer for navigating the difficult investment sales climate to follow through on the sale. “We thought it was a good fit for everybody,” Aron says in assessing the outcome. High Rock principal David Sweetser did not respond to inquiries by press deadline, but Aron says he believes there is “great upside” in the deal for the new ownership, which paid about $100 per sf for the tower.

Sweetser is the founder of High Rock Development LLC, a Wellesley, MA-based company experienced in the retail arena. The group last summer launched a new investment fund targeting retail and niche assets. Prior to starting High Rock, Sweetser had been COO of Heritage Property Investment Trust, handling day-to-day operations for a REIT that controlled 32 million sf of shopping center space.

For NAI Hunneman’s middle markets team, the sale is on the high end of its territory, which covers deals between $3 million and $35 million. Aron says the firm is encouraged by the level of activity in the early going of 2008, but adds that team members are trying to identify opportunities similar to 111 Westminster St. where they can match investors with willing sellers who prefer the off-market approach. Net-leased and shopping center deals are among the firm’s specialties.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.